11 February 2007
Rasmala Investments, a regional Investment Bank, has recently launched a unique Fund focused on Sharia Compliant investments in global equity markets.
The iHilal Sharia Compliant Global Equity Opportunity Fund (iGEO) is managed by iHilal Financial Services, a subsidiary of Rasmala. iGEO has appointed Rasmala as Investment Advisor whereby Rasmala will be responsible for the ongoing asset allocation amongst the regions, sectors, strategies and underlying managers and instruments that iGEO will invest in.
iGEO is the 5th Fund launched by the Rasmala Group over the past 18 months and uses the same tried and tested methodologies that have proven to be very successful in Rasmala’s other product offerings. The Fund utilizes a multi-manager and multi-strategy approach to invest in global equity markets thus ensuring a diversified and effective conduit to promising equity markets around the world. iGEO targets Sharia Compliant investments in the stock markets of North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region. The strategy and investment philosophy employed by iGEO will be very similar to that of Rasmala’s conventional global equity fund – the Rasmala Global Equity Opportunity Fund – which since it’s inception in April 2006, has returned over 10% on an annualized basis to it’s investors.
iGEO ensures Sharia Compliance on three levels:
iGEO has retained the services of a leading Islamic Scholar, Dr. Mohamed Al-Gari, as Sharia Advisor and has appointed a leading Law Firm, Vinson and Elkins, as Special Counsel for Islamic Issues in addition to the Fund’s Cayman counsel: Maples and Calder. The Sharia Advisor has reviewed the Fund’s documents and has issued a Fatwa certifying the Fund’s Sharia Compliance.
iGEO has also retained the services of Citco Global Custody and Citco Financial Services, to act as Fund Custodian and Fund Administrator. Citco Global Custody N.V. is part of the Citco Group, a diverse financial services organization founded more than 60 years ago. Citco is the leading custodian globally in the offshore Fund arena with an estimated market share in excess of 20 %. iGEO has also retained KPMG as Fund auditor thus ensuring the highest quality service providers and independent oversight.
Mr. Eric Swats, Partner at Rasmala Investments said: “We are excited to have launched this fund and are confident that it will bring additional great investment opportunities to all investors. The structure of the Fund is unique in that the underlying investments are Sharia Compliant funds and other instruments, thus ensuring a very diversified and risk-controlled exposure to global equity markets.” He added: “iHilal Financial Services, and Rasmala Investments, as the Investment advisor of iGEO, will apply their proven risk management process to continuously monitor the fund’s investments, including volatility and correlation with other strategies in the portfolio and factor exposures.” Rasmala Investments and iHilal Financial Services are planning several more product launches over the next few months to continue providing high quality access to regional and global markets to their investors.